The structural planning of a physical system's ecological networks (case study: Tehran's landscape system)

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Planning and Design of the Environment, Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


The paradigm of “Ecology in City” became an active approach in the early 1950s in Asia and Europe. In the paradigm of “Ecology of City”, the planning process of solving the urban landscape systems’ complex environmental problems relies upon a comprehensive knowledge of ecological principles and of ecological networks. As in the process of planning the urban landscape systems’ ecological networks, the physical system of urban structures has a quadruple characterization of ecological heterogeneity: “structural”, “procedural”, “temporal” and “spatial”, it characterizes that in the study of urban planning there is a need for a deeper knowlwdge of urban structures and of ecological networks they provide. Overall, the urban structures’ ecological networks provide a physical system for the flow of mater, energy and information. On the other hand, “urban ecology” merely adds an emphasis on human ecosystems in general, which include organisms, the physical environment and conditions, the human population and its social structures and processes, and the built and technological components. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to apply the principles of landscape ecology and of ecological networks in the process of planning the urban landscape systems’ physical structures.
Material and methods:
The methodology of this research is divided into two main sections:1) analyzing the conceptual framework of the research in explaining the structural planning of ecological networks, and 2) programming the physical structure of Tehran's landscape system in coordination with the ecological trends of its landscape system, and the management system of the desired changes in the structural pattern of ecological networks. In this research, we used the LCM model (Land Change Modeler), which depicts the modeling of the changes in urban land use from the past to the present and future, and GIS (Geographic Information System) software.
Results and discussion:
The damage to ecological networks has caused a dam in biological processes and loss of cycles of matter and energy in the creation of eco-sociological landscape systems. This eventually has led to simplification, fragmentation, and deficiency of urban landscape systems, resulting in negative effects on the level of coordination between the four aspects of heterogeneities and their impact on human health and the environment. The generated maps in three consecutive times indicate a significant decrease in vegetation cover and landscape fragmentation in Tehran's physical system and, consequently, an increase in the magnitude of manmade structures during urban development processes, especially in the next ten years. In this regard, two issues have been considered: 1) establishing an analytical relationship between the research’s proposed conceptual framework and the data obtained from the physical system of Tehran's landscape system, and 2) analyzing the current trend of urban changes, predicting the effects of the city's physical development on local ecological networks, and the proper planning of changes for the structural pattern of Tehran's physical system.
The analysis of Tehran’s landscape system is based on a framework proposed by current research’s conceptualization of three scientific approaches, including: “biology”, “ecology”, and “landscape ecology”. In addition of clarifing the living  process of an urban landscape system’s “biological”, “social” and “spatial” characteristics, it takes into account the process of planning urban ecological networks, based on an applied strategies in reducting the ecological disturbances of  Tehran’s urban landscape system.


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